Your frequently asked questions around continuous professional development answered here.

Is CPD mandatory for members of CMI?


By joining CMI you are making a commitment to your ongoing professional development as a manager and leader in order to ensure that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of your job.  The CMI Code of Practice for Professional Managers states that adherence to the code, which includes an ongoing commitment to self-development, is a fundamental requirement of CMI membership.

So do I have to provide evidence of my CPD?

We recommend that all CMI members maintain a record of their CPD plans and activities.  Also, if you wish to become a Chartered Manager you will be asked to submit evidence of your CPD to support your application, and every year a sample of Chartered Managers will be asked to submit their records for assessment.

How should I approach CPD?

We recommend that good CPD is based on the following 4 stage cycle of Reflection, Planning, Action and Evaluation:

Click here to view the cycle.

Sometimes learning can occur unexpectedly through experience, i.e. it may start at the Action stage rather with Reflection, but it is essential that all managers regularly reflect on how their knowledge and skills need to be updated and plan how they will achieve this.

Please see our Guide to Good CPD practice for more details

How should I record my CPD?

CMI members can record their CPD in any format they find convenient, as long as it can provide evidence that all 4 stages of the CPD cycle as described above have been considered.

Recording options include:

The CMI online CPD system this enables the ongoing recording and storage of objectives and activities online. Development activities undertaken using CMI resources are automatically recorded to save you time. 

Two reports can be generated from the system:

  • Development Action Plan – this covers the Reflection and Planning stages of the cycle
  • Personal Development Record – this covers the Action and Evaluation stages of the cycle

CMI CPD report templates the two report formats described above can be downloaded as Word documents for you to complete manually:

CPD records prepared for other professional bodies if you are already keeping CPD records to meet the requirements of another professional body then you may be able to use these to record your CPD in respect of your management and leadership skills as long as they provide clear evidence that they cover all stages of the CPD cycle.

Records completed as part of your organisation’s processes for appraisal, performance development review (PDR) or personal development planning - these may be submitted if these appropriately evidence compliance with the CPD cycle or a part of it. These records will need to be clear in evidencing CPD compliance; if they need interpretation you may need to extract relevant information and present it in another format – for example, using the report templates mentioned above.

Hand written records can be kept for private use but where a Chartered Manager has been asked to submit their CPD records for assessment then this must be in an electronic format.  However, we strongly recommend that members consider recording their ongoing CPD using our online CPD system as this can save time and provide greater flexibility.

What counts as CPD?

Anything that increases your knowledge and skills in a way that makes you a more effective manager and leader can be considered valid CPD. An effective CPD activity must have a clear learning outcome (an output) that is independent of the activity itself (the input).

It is not just about attending formal training courses.  Informal learning gained through experience in the workplace can also be extremely important, as can self-directed learning.

Valid CPD activities can include the following:

Attending events

  • Conferences
  • Seminars/webinars
  • Exhibitions
  • Networking events

Structured learning

  • Embarking upon, working towards and completing a qualification
  • Training courses, including in-company programmes
  • Tests

Informal or self-directed learning

  • Reading journals, books, research papers etc., e.g. from ManagementDirect
  • Viewing multimedia resources e.g. videos,  e-learning etc., e.g. from ManagementDirect
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Experiential or “on-the-job” learning

Voluntary and other activities

We recommend that effective CPD should be multi-faceted, i.e. include a range of different activities that include self-directed study and opportunities to learn from other people in both formal and informal settings.

How do I gain CPD points or hours?

CMI’s approach is to focus on the impacts and outputs from CPD rather than on inputs. What this means is that we are interested in what has actually been learnt or achieved by completing development activities rather than in measuring them in terms of the hours they took or by awarding points for completion.  For example, you may attend a training course that is two days long from which you learn nothing new.  Alternatively you may gain an invaluable insight that will increase your professional effectiveness from watching a 5 minute video or having a brief conversation with a colleague. 

So whilst some other professional bodies do measure CPD in terms of points or hours, CMI does not. (For guidance on how your CPD with CMI may meet the requirements of another professional body’s CPD policy please contact that organisation.) 

How much CPD should I do?

As explained above, CMI’s approach to CPD is output rather than input based and so we are not prescriptive as to how much time or effort is put input CPD. What we expect is that members give due consideration to all four stages of the CPD cycle outlined above and evidence that they have done so. 

The format of the CPD report templates referred to above gives an indication of CMI’s expectations regarding scope and level of detail of these processes.

How do you select which Chartered Managers will have to submit evidence of their CPD?

Every year a sample of Chartered Managers will be asked to submit their records for assessment. Therefore it is vital that CPD records are kept up-to-date throughout the year.

We anticipate the sample size will be around 10% of all Chartered Managers excluding:

  • Those awarded within the last twelve month
  • Those who have completed a renewal under the pre-June 2012 criteria within the last twelve months

Please note: We reserve the right to request CPD records from any Chartered Manager at any time. The fact of having been asked to submit records during one year does not provide any exemption for subsequent years.

If I’m asked to submit my CPD records how much time will I have to do this?

We ask for records to be submitted within 30 days of our request. If records are not received after CMI has sent reminders and taken reasonable steps to contact the individual concerned then, in the absence of any reasonable mitigating circumstances, we would remove Chartered status and downgrade the individual’s membership accordingly.

How exactly should I submit my evidence, if asked to do so?

Submissions should be in an electronic format that can clearly show that the four stages of the CPD cycle outlined above have been considered.

We recommend using the two CMI templates:

The CMI online CPD system will generate these reports automatically using evidence that you have stored within it. Alternatively, blank templates can be downloaded for you to complete manually using the links above.  Details of where your evidence should be sent will be provided when you are informed that you have been selected to submit.

How will my CPD records be assessed?

Our assessors will be looking for clear evidence that all four stages of the CPD cycle have been considered so that there has been:

  • Reflection on development needs
  • Planning of activities to meet these needs (although not all learning has to be planned)
  • Action in the form of a variety of developmental activities
  • Evaluation of the learning outcomes of these activities and their impact at work

For more information we suggest you read our guidance on good CPD practice

What happens if my CPD records are assessed as not having met CMI’s requirements?

If CPD records submitted do not, in our assessor’s view, meet CMI’s requirements then the assessor will contact the Chartered Manager concerned and explain their reasons. The individual will then be asked to re-submit their records taking into account the assessor’s feedback. Should a second submission still fail to meet CMI’s requirements, and in the absence of any reasonable mitigating circumstances, then we would remove Chartered status and downgrade the individual’s membership accordingly.